is an extremely precise designer, so when he lets himself go a little, that constitutes a statement. With his Resort collection, he liked the notion of embracing speed and technology at the same time as he slowed things down in mood (even to the point of having his lookbook shot on film rather than more immediate digital). He wanted the clothes to look lived-in, a little disheveled—in his words, "nonchalant, relaxed, authentic." So there was pre-creased pink gingham and the same metal-threaded crinkly fabrics he used in his Spring collection for men, as well as the Japanese tie-dye technique called shibori (here, as in menswear, a real star of the show). A cropped brocade top with attached pinstripe shirttails definitely had a dressed-in-the-dark nonchalance. So did a punk-folky hand-crocheted top with a fluorescent skirt that looked like it had spent 24 hours in a washing machine. There were sandals with everything.
But, the odd shirttail or asymmetrical drape aside, Nicoll doesn't really do
disheveled. He's more pin-sharp…safety
-pin-sharp, to be precise. The loveliest bit of the collection used safety-pin lace in white or navy. Nicoll was—or so he claimed—courting an association with Elizabeth Hurley's famous Versace dress. He thought the link was quite obvious. That was wishful thinking on his part. Anyway, he scarcely needed La Hurley. His safety pins stood just fine on their own.